Laois Community Forum Chairman Paddy Buggy said the awards are a way to celebrate volunteer work.
“Those who volunteer do so out of a desire to make their community a better place to live in. They know that they will never be thanked by those who don’t volunteer or by the State but they do it anyway, working quietly behind the scenes keeping their area tidy, secure and ensuring there are activities for people to participate in.
“Sometimes they may feel that they are banging their heads off a brick wall, sometimes they ask themselves why do they bother and that is why it is important that we not only recognise these volunteers but that we say Thank you.
“Laois Community Forum do the one thing that all of us who volunteer appreciate and that is we use our Awards Night to recognise the huge work that is done and we say Thank you.
Mr Buggy said the Awards Night helps to highlight the different work
“We are delighted to host these awards again this year and welcome on board Laois Spots Partnership and the Leinster Express as co sponsors,” he said.
Pat Somers, Leinster Express Editor, was pleased to be involved.
“Community is at the core of what we do as a newspaper, and the recognition of voluntary and community endeavours, across the county, is intrinsic to our ethos as a paper.
“In difficult times the role of communities has never been more important, and as a society we should never underestimate the value of the often unseen and unsung work that is undertaken on a daily basis.,” said Mr Somers
Caroline Myers, Co-ordinator with the Laois Sports Partnership looked forward to awards.
“We are delighted to support the Sport and Leisure Category of the Community & Voluntary Awards 2012. This award is about recognizing community/voluntary groups who promote the benefits of sport and physical activity for the well being of the their community.
“We recognize and value the role of volunteers in the community especially in challenging times with scarce monetary resources for clubs/organizations. Without their valuable time, enthusiasm and dedication to support their local groups, there would be a huge void in the community.
“Supporting the Sport and Leisure Category of the Community & Voluntary Awards gives us the opportunity to honour the contribution of volunteers through their efforts in the realm of sport and physical activity in a public way,” she said.
Honor Deevy of Laois County Council’s Community and Enterprise Section sai the awards highlight “the incredible work that is being carried out in communities, particularly in these challenging times - the enthuasism of community groups and their volunteers is invaluable.” said Ms Deevy.